How should we judge a government?

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan
Was he referring to Malaysia? Seems so apt...

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options

How the Chinese control the economy

How the Chinese control the economy

MyCen News

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

'Doctor' face and fakes



In the nineties, when I used to hang out at Phileo Allied Securities, there was a young man (nicknamed 'Mei Kok Chai' or American boy), who worked a number of years in US, saved some money and came back to trade in shares. There was another young man with better personality, who was regularly seen in the stockbroking firm. He was nicknamed by Mei Kok Chai as 'Doctor face', for his seemingly studious and knowledgeable look of a medical doctor!
Recently, our Police uncovered a company specializing in producing fake degrees, which included options for convocation ceremonies and dinners! To make it look authentic, someone would even act as Dean or even Chancellor of the particular university! Presumably, if anyone has the necessary impressive intellectual look of a Chancellor, he stands a chance to be hired! Other times, maybe he could stand in as Santa Claus during Christmas season.
Years ago, I found to my astonishment, someone with a professional qualification and a senior post in a big company, having a calling card with his 'Christian' name followed by his surname only, without any mention of his position nor qualfications. He was so self confident I thought to myself. Now, I have seen calling cards bearing positions held, but nary a mention of his or her qualifications.
On other occasions, I had come across bosses of their own smallish companies who described themselves as just 'Manager' and only close friends and relatives knew they owned the businesses. This act of humility was also a ploy to fend off would be opportunists out to request for dubious donations or even hoodlums extorting money.
But obviously, it takes all kinds of people to make our lives interesting. While there are people who have the knowledge or money but do not wish to display them, there are others who would pretend they are more than what they are! We live in a world where 'money talks' or 'No money, no talk', much like Marriot Hotel's advertisement, 'No Malliot, no Mally!' So can we blame those who tried ever so hard to impress with their flashy cars, posh homes and branded clothes and accessories? As they say, 'first impression counts' but it could backfire instead... like those who bought their fake degrees from the following 'universities' :
"The universities were the University of Rockhampton (United States), Harvey International University (United States), Cannington Brook University (United Kingdom), Glastonbury University (United Kingdom) and Charles Molnar University (Hungary)."
Read more: VIPs bought fake degrees - General - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/vips-bought-fake-degrees-1.113455
They must be having sleepless nights, for fear of being found out and their names displayed in the newspapers!
As for those pretenders, it can be quite hilarious, especially those nouveau riche who acquired wealth recently. They did not have the time to refine themselves. It takes time, sometimes, over one or two generations. They might have the substance but not the grace. No, I am not speaking as one who is refined (did not have the chance!), but being a socialist at heart, I don't even feel comfortable seating alone at the back of a car, with someone's driver at the wheel.
I was at my former mechanic's place in KL, when a smallish Merc driven by a mature lady drove by and stopped. I thought I recognized her but could not place her. Anyway, she got out of her car and sat at the back while her driver who was waiting nearby got into the driver's seat and drove off.  I said she looks familiar and was told who she is, but I was more amused by what the mechanic said about her trying to show off when there was no necessity to employ a driver!
This reminded me of the time when I told a former classmate who was driven to and from college in a Merc, of her different social standing. For the next few days, she actually sat in front with the driver, until probably told off by her parents. She actually tried very hard to fit in with the rest of us, like using those box files (common then) instead of her original leather brief case. She was refined even then, and spoke impeccable English.

A look at fake intellectuals elsewhere...
BBC News - Viewpoint: The spectre of plagiarism haunting Europe
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/18962349
Link

Monday, July 30, 2012

A bit on condominiums in and around KL


A former classmate, now a Canadian, recently stayed at an apartment near KLCC. He commented that because of the common traffic jams in the area, he did not feel like getting out of the CBD unless he had an appointment with friends or relatives.

Another ex-classmate, moved from Titiwangsa, KL, to Setia Ecopark in or near Shah Alam. The effect on our occasional lunch dates or jam sessions was felt because of the extra distance. It used to be a quick 'yes or no' if he was in Titiwangsa, whether he could join us in Sentul. Now, I would not even call him to find out if he was free unless he happened to be in town, because it would not be nice for him to turn me down.
These are just two examples of unimportant but minor issues which would affect someone's decision to buy a house or apartment. The more important ones would include proximity to workplace and family or friends (depending on whether he or she wants to be closer or farther!)

Recently, we visited a high density condominium project, Parklane OUG, which is near OUG but is on Jalan Puchong. It was described as 'truly affordable' at over Rm300,000 for a standard built-up of 950 sq.ft.  Affordability is subjective and it depends on who the developers are targetting. For an average wage earner without parental support, it is beyond him or her. But when compared with other new projects, it can be described as relatively cheaper. Mah Sing's Icon Residenz at Icon City (former Masushita factory in Kelana Jaya) starts from Rm499,000 for a 569 sq. ft. serviced apartment. Of course, Mah Sing has an established brand name and this is a bigger integrated project. But for a better comparison with Parklane, if I remember correctly, there is one project in Sg. Besi offering a 950 sq. ft. apartment for some Rm470,000!

It is interesting to compare these with an upscale project within KL CBD: Laman Ceylon, Bukit Ceylon. Its apartments start from 624 sq. ft. and at around Rm1,000 per sq. ft., I presume it starts from over Rm600,000. For its strategic location in terms of proximity to KLCC and other important business addresses as well as premium shopping centres like Pavilion and Starhill along Jalan Bukit Bintang, I would say it is relatively cheap for foreign  and local businessmen to have a place to stay or to offer their foreign business associates a convenient place during their short visits. Location plan:

Link

Another lame joke

A man was driving down the road and ran out of gas. Just at that moment, a bee flew in his window.
The bee said, 'What seems to be the problem?'
'I'm out of gas,' the man replied.
The bee told the man to wait right there and flew away. Minutes later, the man watched as an entire swarm of bees flew to his car and into his gas tank. After a few minutes, the bees flew out.
'Try it now,' said one bee.
The man turned the ignition key and the car started right up. 'Wow!' the man exclaimed, 'what did you put in my gas tank'?
The bee answered, 'Bee Pee, of course!'






Link

Is your password safe... and sound?


Meanwhile...

A lady is helping her husband install his computer.  Having completed that successfully, she said he now should have a password that he would easily remember, so he would be able to use his computer when it asks him his password.

Being a bit of a He-man, he winks at his wife and says "penis."
As he enters the password and presses the mouse button, his wife bursts into a hysterical fit of laughter...



The computer responded: "Too Short" entry refused.
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Friday, July 27, 2012

How I became an inadvertent seller of 100 shares of PM Holdings Bhd


On July 20, there were a few buyers willing to buy a few thousand lots (100 units each) @ 0.055 and some sellers offering to sell @0.065. I had been telling myself not to subject myself vulnerable to this possibility. But 40,000 shares @ 0.005 mean Rm200 difference. So I keyed in to sell at Rm0.06.

Soon after, the total for sale  at 6 sen (my 400 lots) was increased by someone to 1830 lots. Then it happened! This is common and likely to be the work of someone whose duty is to buy a minimum of 1 lot so that the share price shows an increase in price. The total lots sold increased from 50 to 51 and the number of lots for sale at 6 sen reduced to 1829. I knew I had it because this particular counter has been inactive for a long while, with rise or drop in price of 1/2 or 1 sen only. Sure enough, at the end of trading for the day, total lots sold remained at 51 and I had 399 lots unsold!

Proceeds from sale of 100 shares @ 6 sen: Rm6.00
Less: minimum brokerage of Rm12.00, Rm1.00 contract stamp and clearing fee of 1 sen
Net due from me: Rm7.01!

But I take it as a lesson learnt as well as a sign for me to keep the shares instead.

Link

Time for Proton to 'potong' its umbilical cord


This is proof that we are forced to pay higher prices for motor vehicles because of Proton:

"MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad also disclosed that the government is still controlling the prices of imported cars and if the prices are found to be approaching or lower than domestic car prices, the government would ask the manufactures to increase prices before allowing them to enter the market.
The Competition Act should be meant for encouraging fair competition and pressing down prices to benefit consumers, but it seems now to have serving exactly the opposite purpose. It seems like the transformation plans are unable to get rid of the protection policy. That is why, the opening up pace of the national automotive policy is so slow, causing the commitment to attract foreign investment lacks convincing and foreign car manufacturers have chosen to set up plants in other countries."
More:
http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=37192:open-and-professional&Itemid=2

Now seems an opportune time to discontinue protective excise and import duties meant to mollycoddle Proton. It is now in private hands and the new owners should try to compete on a level playing field with other car makers.

The initial impact of cheaper cars would hit recent owners of new vehicles bought at high prices. There should be a mechanism to soften the impact over a few years, otherwise, it would be unfair to them as well as the HP financiers. This is just a one-off bitter pill to swallow if we are for solving this ongoing problem. In effect protecting a continually failing company is using good money chasing bad. A case of misallocation of scarce resources.
Proton started as one of the pet projects of then PM, Dr. Mahathir. He went against advice that Malaysia did not have a sufficiently big home market to have its own car manufacturing company. To prop up the failing enterprise, besides protective excise and import duties, even government loans to civil servants to purchase cars were made conditional upon buying Proton. Official cars had to be Protons too. It had protection for the past 27 years and we continue to pay higher prices for them than foreigners buying them overseas!
Our national pride and an ex-PM's ego should not be the reason to continue having all car purchasers to pay heavily to maintain this particular car company, its employees and parts suppliers. If they cannot compete on level grounds, then they should do something about it. Britain's long history in manufacturing motor vehicles did not stop its famous marques like Rolls Royce, Jaguar and Rover from being taken over by foreigners. It was due to economic reasons and their employees had to adapt to be more efficient under foreign management.

Update on August 3: Malaysia Chronicle...
http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=37567:malaysia-where-the-price-of-a-car-is-equivalent-to-the-price-of-a-home&Itemid=2

Update on August 8: Malaysiakini...
Why are cars way cheaper in the US?
http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/205716
Link

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dr JB Lim's critique on our educational standard


"If I were to relate to you my experiences with all these local graduates, especially those from public universities, let alone school leavers trying to enter universities in the United Kingdom like Oxford, Cambridge or at St Andrews University, or those in the United States like Harvard, Princeton, MIT, CIT, you will laugh at the atrocious standard of our Malaysian educational standard especially in Science. .."
"Very briefly :
1. You ask them a simple question in English, they can only reply in Bahasa Malaysia.
2. You ask them a simple technical question in the area they study in the university, they will be stunned.    They will just stare at you; look up at the ceiling instead of looking at you. You will wait for 1 - 2 minutes for them to answer. When you repeat the question once again, they will just smile at you. They just don’t seem to know.
3. I have been a previous external examiner to some of the undergraduate students studying in local universities.    When I asked them questions, not only do they just remained silent and just smiled and showed their teeth, but they gave irrelevant and out-of-point answers...
4. ...A few years ago, a female M.Sc. student from the University of Malaya even tried to bluff me and my co-judge that she boiled a flower extract in water for over 180 degrees Celsius, and she found the colour of the flower extract heat remained stable.    This instantly caught me by surprise because water at normal atmosphere can never exceed 100 deg C.    So I asked her if she used some kind of very special very high pressure cooker to boil the water.    To my surprise she said no  . . .  ’just boil it with water in a beaker.’
Instantly I failed her.    Her professor (a Chinese lady) who was standing behind her to give her support could not defend her,  because I was one of the International Judges evaluating the quality of inventions put up by local public (some from overseas)  universities...
5. My drug company employs a few science graduates, including qualified professional nutritionists graduated from UPM and UKM.    During my conversation with some of them about nutritional diseases and methods to diagnose them,  surprisingly they told me they have not heard of these deficiency diseases, let alone identify their clinical feature and diagnose them.
I remember at London where I studied nutrition, we were drilled through and through on the clinical features of all the nutritional disorders until we were truly expert in identifying every one of them.    Both my external examiners were from the Department of Medicine from Cambridge.    Both were Jews and Professors appointed by the University of London to examine us. I remember during the oral exams they would show us clinical slides of nutritional diseases, and ask us to make a diagnosis...
6. I have also been a Chairman of scientific sessions where research papers were presented by academics and post-doctoral researchers in scientific congresses.    I just can’t believe the sub-standard quality of their papers which I think even a good Upper Form Six student from another country can do better.
When I was at the University of London doing my postgraduate way back in the early 1960s the quality of papers from British Universities were so high that we, even as postgraduate students, find it very difficult to understand.    They were all so good, so professional and so specialized.    Their papers were beyond us.    Even way back in the 1960s, their papers were full of data, statistics and mathematical analysis of the experimental data done in a very sophisticated and elegant way.    It was so professional.
But when our Malaysian university academics present a paper at a scientific conference, they only show pictures and photos, and seldom any research data..."

More:
http://alancykok.blogspot.com/2012/07/malaysian-higher-education-system-under.html

(I believe there are exceptions to the generally perceived low standards of students.)

Link

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Effective trap to get at would be snatch thieves

but I will not use it... simply because I don't want to be responsible for the death of one or two persons...


For those who make a living out of breaking car windows and grabbing bags, please be warned that such actions might cost you your lives.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Good Joke but don't copy if you can't paste


A popular motivational speaker was entertaining his audience.
He said : "The best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman who wasn't my wife!"
The audience was in silence and shock.
The speaker added: "And that woman was my mother!"
Laughter and applause!!

A week later, a top manager trained by the speaker tried to crack this good joke at home.
But he was already a bit foggy after a drink.
He said loudly to his wife who was preparing dinner:

"The greatest years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman who was not my wife!"
The wife went: "Huh??!" with shock and rage.
Standing there for 20 seconds trying to recall the second half of the joke, the man finally blurted out:
"....and I can't remember who she was!"

Link

IT reality

An extra key which is relevant to us when we make a mistake...

Just like the one at a funeral wake, having many friends does not mean much when you need them...

You may have numerous friends on FB, but will not accept your parents...
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Winnable candidate?

Winnable or not, this 'guy' has what politicians often accuse their rivals of not having...

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Deja vu? Water concessionaires like IPPs before?

One of the comments in Malaysiakini on water problems in Selangor seems to show BN's masterpiece like before:

"PaperRoses: Remember Ani Arope (AA), the former executive chairperson of TNB (Tenaga Nasional Berhad)?

Read part of his interview with regards to the agreement between TNB and the IPPs (independent power producers). It tells you what Syabas is about.

Question: How was the process of negotiations with IPPs conducted?

AA: There was no negotiation. Absolutely none. Instead of talking directly with the IPPs, TNB was sitting down with the EPU (Economic Planning Unit). And we were harassed, humiliated and talked down every time we went there. The EPU just gave us the terms and asked us to agree. I said no way I would.

Question: What about the pricing and terms of the contracts?

AA: It was all fixed up. (They said) this is the price, this is the capacity charge and this is the number of years. They said you just take it and I refused to sign the contracts. And then, I was put out to pasture.

AA: (Closing remark) This job is an 'amanah' (trust). You are entrusted with this responsibility and you carry it out to the best of your ability. I do not want somebody to come and urinate on my grave."


Rest of the other comments:
http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/204454
Link

Deja vu: lost my way to The Club, Bukit Utama


The unpleasant feeling was similar to the time we lost our way coming back from LCCT to Ciao, Italian Restaurant in KL, via Maju Expressway for the first time.
The urgency to get to the venue on time (son's wedding reception then) and this time, wedding dinner of two persons introduced by daughter, Cheng.
Bride was a childhood friend of Cheng (since kindergarten days) and groom, ex-coursemate in HELP. The weekend before was bride's wedding reception in Ipoh and groom confirmed that we were invited for the groom's too, because of our role in the matchmaking process! But because Cheng was unable to attend, sister had to represent her as co-MC for the event, which included a surprise to the couple, of a short video clip of Cheng in Maastricht wishing them all the best.
Anyway, since I had been to The Club before, I was quite confident of the way (big mistake). Wife, as usual, got ready past the usual '7.00 pm sharp' leaving no time for mistake. Before, I had my daughter telling me the way (from Section 17) past Bandar Utama junction to look out for Houz, to get to the entrance to The Club. But this time, she had to be at the venue early, and I was on my own (no help from wife because she refuses to know KL) and turned into BU instead! From there it was one mistake after another which eventually led us to Kota Damansara! Half my problem was my poor night vision for the purpose of knowing the way anywhere. If ever there was a need for me to change to a smart phone, GPS would be the main reason. But then again, I might still have to contend with my wife as GPS override! Fortunately, my son was at home and able to give directions by phone to my wife while I drove on, feeling lousy for being useless, especially as an ex-KLite.
It is easy for anyone to say that he or she would avoid living in KL, but we cannot avoid KL because of children's place of work and residence. The longer I stayed away, the more out of touch I am with the new highways and highrise buildings.
That night after dinner we had to send a friend to the hotel. I was really fortunate as in not tempted to take an illegal U-turn while looking for Royale Bintang The Curve (imagine, there are two in the vicinity: one in The Curve and another in Mutiara Damansara). As I past the junction (meant for residents coming out from some condominums), I saw a police car waiting for those who break the rule!


Link

Mural in men's restroom urinal

Edge Designs is an all-women run company that designs interior office space. They had a recent opportunity to do an office project in NYC.
The client allowed the women of this Company a free hand in all design aspects.
The client was a company that was also run by women executives.
The result...

Link

Monday, July 23, 2012

'There are lies, damn lies, and statistics'


"It is a fact that Malaysians are cynical of the statistics put out by the government. Although the government has been at pains to argue that there is a declining trend in crime, the man in the street does not believe the government. The average Ali, Siva and Chong is even more agitated when the government blames the issue of escalating crime on public perception and blown-up media accounts.
The truth is that our government friendly media are underreporting rather than over-reporting on crime and violence. Let’s be frank and admit that the official statistics on crime, especially petty crime, are unreliable.
Unlike the statistics collected by the Department of Statistics, police statistics are generated by front line personnel who have a vested interest in underreporting. Everyone knows that police personnel have every incentive to avoid extra work through understating crime incidence. They also do not want to give a bad name to the police district if they can help it. Under-recording of actual cases of crime is very much the norm in most police stations..."
More:
CPI: Why police are impotent in dealing with growing crime by Dr. Lim Teck Ghee
I wish to add that when caught, as is common in traffic offences, we are just as guilty if we feel it is easier and cheaper to settle the offence on the spot. A friend once put it very nicely for both offender and police by suggesting to the policeman, 'I am guilty and I want to pay the fine, can I pay it to you to save the trouble of paying at the police station?'
I am sure most of us would agree that to the policeman, unless he is a very disciplined and principled one, it is so much easier and gainful for him to settle the matter off the record. It saves him the trouble of having to write out the summons and more so, not having to appear in court later if the offender decided to take him on instead of paying the official compounded sum.
But to be fair, in a recent robbery and assault case in Section 14, PJ, the policemen had proven they are taking the public's criticisms seriously by being extra helpful in helping a victim:
"10.50pm
Five minutes after we had made the report, 3 police cars arrived the scene of crime. Kudos to the instant response. .."
"Furthermore, I was prepared to send Ms. Chong to the hospital, but the policemen volunteered to take her while another car stayed back until Mrs. Chong and daughter got home safely. They also helped patch up the broken window with plastic to prevent water going through. They finally left almost 1am. Thank you PDRM!"

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'Malaysians' made in Pakistan arrived at KLIA


"I returned from Hong Kong on flight MH 073 on 17th July 2012 which landed in KLIA at about 6.15pm. Disembarkation and baggage clearance was prompt with no hassles.
When I arrived at the Immigration “autogate” there was a queue. There was no officer in the immigration booth manning the gates.
I noted about seven Pakistani nationals; all in their national costumes, hogging all the autogates. They were struggling to put their passports in the passport reader and get their fingerprints verified.
The Malaysians in the queue started commenting in loud voices:    - “This lane is for Malaysian Passports only”
    - “Please join the other queue for foreign passports” etc.
Some, thinking that they were foreign workers, got impatient and spoke with raised voices:
    - “ Barisan ini untuk Passport Malaysia”
    - “Tolong pergi ke kaunter international passport” etc.
These gentlemen stood firm; oblivious to the comments, speaking in their native language and giving instructions to each other on how to use the reader. As more Malaysians arrived, the queue got longer.
I broke out of the queue and checked their passports – and they ALL had Malaysian Passports. On enquiring, they responded in broken English that they had just arrived on flight PK 894 from Peshawar. All the Malaysians in the queue were shocked..."

More:
 http://malaysiaflipflop.blogspot.com/2012/07/foreigners-with-malaysian-passports.html

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All the little things that annoy me...


could be blessings in disguise.

As you might remember, the head of a company survived  9/11  
because his son started kindergarten. 

Another fellow was alive
because it was His turn to bring donuts. 

One woman was late
because her Alarm clock didn't go off in time. 

One was late because of being stuck on the NJ Turnpike 
Because of an auto accident. 

One of them
Missed his bus.

One spilled food on her clothes and had to take time to change. 

One's Car wouldn't start. 

One couldn't Get a taxi. 

The one that struck me was the man
Who put on a new pair of shoes that morning, 
Took the various means to get to work 
But before he got there, he developed a blister on his foot. 
He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid. 
That is why he is alive today..

Now when I am
Stuck in traffic,
Miss an elevator,
Turn back to answer a ringing telephone ...
All the little things that annoy me.
I think to myself,
This is exactly where
God wants me to be
At this very moment.

Link

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Can't get over Rm1.90 for 'teh o kosong'


I am one in a group of retirees who used to go to Pusing, Batu Gajah Perdana or Menglembu for breakfast and chit chat. We seem to ignore those in Batu Gajah!
The other day, we went to a corner coffee shop across the road from the One-city hawker centre in Menglembu and it was packed! Being new, we had to try out different dishes to find out. Nothing to shout about, though I particularly liked the tau foo from a stall. But it was the pricing of 'teh o kosong' which baffled us. Just imagine a glass costs Rm1.90 when compared with teh sweetened with condensed milk at Rm2.00! Because we were served by a foreign worker, we thought it was a mistake and we actually asked the boss for confirmation.
At home, I used to make tea with fresh milk and without sugar the first round, and plain tea by just adding hot water the second round which is 'teh o kosong'. The profit margin for this particular drink must be fantastic. Once, in KLIA sending off my daughter, she bought me a cup of tea and refused to show me the price. It costed Rm13++ but price aside, the tea bag was put in a cup of hot water and fresh milk added before it was properly brewed!
Anyway, at the coffee shop, when it was time for Chinese tea, I asked for price first. Instead of a pot of tea (since we were new there and some places do not encourage 'long stayers' especially where business is brisk), we asked for a glass each. It costed only 40 sen each and for 5 of us, it costed Rm2.00. In other words, the cost of one glass of 'teh o kosong' (plain Ceylon or English tea) is equivalent to almost 5 glasses of Chinese tea! Some shops actually welcome 'long stayers' (or  those with 'cheong see fatt' in Cantonese) because too few customers do not look good for a coffee shop. There is a rule of thumb way of looking for a good place to eat: look for one with the most people!
I notice old established coffee shops still going strong despite competition from new shops and even big hawker centres. There is a big hawker centre in Menglembu, near some blocks of flats. It was well planned and has the coolest of fan, a huge one which could be from a helicopter. Somehow, the customers seem to be reducing each time we were there. It has a lot to do with the variety of foods served there which are presumably unpopular.  New stall operators tried their luck for a few months and closed when they could not make enough to make their effort worthwhile. To them it can be as casual as renting a stall for Rm10 a day for a few days to find out. A retired lady teacher actually did that for the experience of selling 'char kway teow'! But it is certainly not for those half-hearted.
Years ago, many Perakians 'jumped aeroplane' when they pretended to be tourists to US or Europe. It was their 'one-way trip' despite having paid for two-way.  Tour guides knew about this ruse and immigration officers were wiser too. Some even went to Europe or Ireland first before entering UK, the original destination of choice. But a friend pushed his luck too far when he was caught trying to bring along a couple of friends!
Most of them worked long hours in restaurants, even as dishwashers, to earn USD or GBP. The long working hours meant they could save because they did not have the time nor energy to spend! Except for a few inverterate gamblers, most of them could send back in Ringgit value, a few hundred thousands, enough to buy a shophouse each. They either rent out the shop or be coffee shop operator renting out a few food stalls.
Setting up a coffee shop with a few food stalls must be the easiest and most popular business venture in and around Ipoh. Yet, to be able to sustain for a long period, tasty food and drinks are essential. It is common for people like us to go round from one place to another out of a few favoured ones, and occasionally trying new outlets. Except for festive days when those who work elsewhere came back to visit their parents and relatives, the limited number of customers patronizing an increasing number of outlets means only the tough get going. Those marginal cases will lose out and close shops because customers tend to go to same places where they can expect and get the same standard of food and drinks like before.
Once I was asked by someone from KL which food stall is best in Pusing. I was stumped for an answer because there is none really outstanding and every one is fairly good. As is typical of food, what is good for one may not be so for another.

Link

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pua not fit to debate with Chua?

The cheek of Tee Yong! If Tee Yong was right in his claim that Tony had made a mistake in not taking into account liabilities when mentioning assets, did he not make many more claims (like the Rm1 billion scandal which trickled down to overpayment of Rm42 million, which was rebutted by Tony, but never reported in the msm) which were unsubstantiated? Wouldn't it be nice to take him on, now that he thinks Tony cannot read financial statements?

Based on party positions, Chua Tee Yong is MCA Young Professionals Chief and a member of MCA's Central Executive Committee. Tony Pua is DAP's National Publicity Secretary and is also a member of DAP's Central Executive Committee.

Datuk Chua Tee Yong succeeded his father in the constituency of Labis, Johore and he became an MP after winning in 2008. He was appointed Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister in 2010. He should not be too smug about his datukship and his deputy ministerial position which many would assume he was appointed deputy minister in place of his father, Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek, who does not hold any ministerial position, and awarded the royal title because of his position.

Because of Chua's relatively younger age as compared with Pua, many would think he is too young and inexperienced to debate with Pua, but now he claims Pua is not fit to debate with him! On what basis? Chua is a graduate from RMIT and is a chartered accountant by training. He was a CFO in a government linked company. Pua is a PPE graduate from Oxford University. He was formerly CEO of a SESDAQ listed company. He sold his company in Singapore and stood for election in Malaysia's PJ Utara constituency and became an MP in March 2008.

Tee Yong did question why Pua has been explaining instead of those in Selangor State Exco. But if he is being picky, Pua as an MP in Selangor certainly has more right than him as an MP of Johore, stirring up trouble in Selangor!

The least Tee Yong can do is accept Pua 's challenge to a debate, and let the people decide as to who is better in a debate. The mainstream media have always been partial to BN. What we get from them are propaganda instead of news.

William Leong's article is rather informative and gives further insight into Talam's history...

Shifting the Talam goalpost: Tee Yong shows a LACK of intellectual honesty


http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=36812:who-is-shifting-the-talam-goalpost-tee-yong-shows-a-lack-of-intellectual-honesty&Itemid=2
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Water water everywhere, not a drop to spare?

The ongoing spat between BN federal government (with vested interests in privatized concessionaires) and Pakatan Selangor state government (with leaders who find the lop-sided contracts hard to swallow) has lead to the forming of a cabinet committee (comprising BN federal ministers and a Selangor state leader, all perceived to be bias) to look into it.

RPK, in his usual wisdom with unusual views, is of the opinion that water should be in the hands of the federal government because it is their responsibility and it costs way too much for a state to handle. That federal is now in BN hands and Selangor is under Pakatan, any change in federal power would affect this line of thinking. But considering Selangor is the richest state, is water that costly that it has to be in federal hands, especially BN? I would personally like Selangor to be given a chance (if ever possible) to prove that it is capable of doing so without expensive lop-sided contracts forced down its throat.

RPK's view has led to criticism by Humblevoice which led to his usual rebuttal http://malaysia-today.net/mtcolumns/no-holds-barred/50679-water-privatisation-my-response-to-humblevoice

I can't help being reminded and recalled what Ong (not me) described him as, 'RPK now sees himself as a person who is always right half the time and never wrong the other half of the time.' in Malaysiakini 
http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/204053 .

Meanwhile, in an unrelated matter, but related to Selangor, someone posted this caricatured picture in Facebook, showing Chairman of Trinity Corp Bhd (who happens to be an ex-partner of international accounting firm Arthur Andersen) giving a lecture to MCA's Chua Tee Yong (chartered accountant), Theng Bok, Ms. Tow-truck, and Yap Pian Hon!


The reason why I tend to mix up the two matters (water and Talam) was the pictures of Chua and company holding pictures of land covered with water, at the time when BN, Syabas and NST tried to create an impression of water shortage, which in turn created responses from Pakatan's leaders like Ronnie Liu and Dr Xavier Jayakumar, with pictures of them next to dams filled with water!

Update on July 21:

DUBIOUS numbers used to 'MANUFACTURE' the so-called Water Crisis?


http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=36886:are-questionable-numbers-being-used-to-manufacture-water-crisis?&Itemid=2
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

This is Celcom Territory...

but who is minding the English?

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Why I think Dr. Mahathir was a dictator

To be honest, when I first read about his challenge to people to prove he was a dictator, I was stumped when trying to list out the reasons. It was such an accepted fact that he was a dictator that we tend to assume that he was one because there were loads of articles about his getting everything his way.

The fact that he was PM for 22 years could be a reason, but not necessarily so. I would count his 'never having to say sorry' more so. More recently, at the PKFZ trial, Dr. Ling said he dared not cheat on Dr. Mahathir, and that to me, was telling of how much power the latter wielded then. Much earlier, Dr. Ling commented that he was guilty if Dr. Mahathir said so! Dr. Ling was a Transport Minister then and he gave the impression he hadn't a clue about the land valuations and accepted the professionals' opinions. We can presume the rest of the Cabinet had relied on his opinion, but more so, because it was Dr. Mahathir's decision to go ahead with the project, so everybody could rest and relax that it was Dr. M's ultimate responsibility. They did not dare think of questioning him! This scenario must have been usual of the cabinet meetings every Wednesday, for all of the important decisions perceived to be collective decisions but actually decided by Dr. Mahathir alone.

Petronas, the country's biggest revenue earner was, and still is, accountable only to the PM, a precedent started by him. Since we have no access to its accounts, hundreds of billions were unaccounted for but we could see some ostentatious icons like the Twin Towers and a new capital in Putrajaya. It was during Dr. Mahathir's watch that we saw mega projects and bail-outs, financed mainly by oil revenues. Only a dictator could insist on a failing project like Proton, to be sustained by forcing every purchaser to pay higher prices for imported and locally assembled vehicles as a result of protective import and excise duties. Some people are very proud of what Dr. Mahathir had done, but cynical ones would question why Malaysia could not be as successful as Singapore despite having blessings of oil and other natural resources.

The privatisation of North-South Expressway was an excellent idea, but by benefiting concessionaires controlled by the ruling Umno party, its lop-sided contracts resulted in either periodic increases in toll rates, compensations or extensions of toll period. It was definitely robbing the public to benefit a few, with option of either penalizing road users or general taxpayers.

The use of ISA to control oppositionists (infamous Ops Lalang) and the persecution of Anwar were two examples of his excessive use of executive powers. The OSA was used to hide corruption in high places and whistleblowers were charged instead.

The removal of Lord President, Salleh Abbas was unprecedented, and it went through tribunals presided by someone who succeeded him!

Only Dr. Mahathir had the guts, due to his absolute power, to curtail some of the privileges of the Malay Rulers. This must be, by far, the most convincing fact of his dictatorship.

Update on July 20:  Selected comments in Malaysiakini...
History will not be kind to Mahathir
http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/204150
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Google-style glasses objectionable?

Apparently so, to some employees in McDonald in Champs-Elysees, Paris. A clear example of when a new gadget is too advanced and not properly understood by people in general...
More:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57474346-71/google-style-glasses-led-to-attack-in-mcdonalds-professor-says/
Link

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Some jokes on the female kind


A man was granted two wishes by God.
He asked for the best drink and the best woman ever.
Next moment he got mineral water and Mother Teresa!
***
There are 3 kinds of men in this world:
Some remain single and make wonders happen.
Some have girlfriends and see wonders happen.
Rest get married and wonder what happened!
***
Wives are magicians.
They can change anything into an argument.
***
Why do women live a Better, Longer and more Peaceful Life?
A very INTELLIGENT student replied:
"Because Women don't have a wife!"
***
"Honey," said a husband to his wife, "I invited a friend home for supper."
"What? Are you crazy? The house is a mess, I haven't been shopping, all the dishes are dirty, and I don't feel like cooking a fancy meal!"
"I know all that."
"Then why did you invite a friend for supper?"
"Because the poor fool's thinking about getting married."

Link

I don't like my life, can I change it?


A man was sick and tired of going to work every day while his wife stayed home... He wanted her to see what he went through so he prayed:

Dear Lord: 
I go to work every day and put in 8 hours while my wife merely stays at home. 
I want her to know what I go through. 
So, please allow her body to switch with mine for a day. 
Amen!' 

The Lord in his infinite wisdom, granted the man's wish.

The next morning, sure enough, the man awoke as a woman...
He arose, cooked breakfast for his wife.
Awakened the kids,
Set out their school clothes,
Fed them breakfast,
Packed their lunches,
Drove them to school,
Came home and picked up the dry cleaning,
Took it to the cleaners,
Went grocery shopping,
Then drove home to put away the groceries,
He cleaned the cat's litter box and bathed the dog..
Then, it was already 1 P.M.
And he hurried to make the beds, do the laundry, vacuum, dust, sweep and mop the kitchen floor.
Ran to the school to pick up the kids and got into an argument with them on the way home.
Set out milk and cookies and got the kids organized to do their homework.
Then, set up the ironing board and watched TV while he did the ironing.
At 4:30  he began peeling potatoes and washing vegetables for salad, breaded the pork chops and snapped fresh beans for supper.
After supper, he cleaned the kitchen, ran the dishwasher, folded laundry, bathed the kids,  and put them to bed.
At 9 P.M. He was exhausted and, though his daily chores weren't finished, he went to bed and make love, which he managed to get through without complaint. 
The next morning, he awoke and immediately knelt by the bed and said: -

‘Lord, I don't know what I was thinking. 
I was so wrong to envy my wife's being able to stay home all day. 
Please, oh! Oh! Please, let us trade back. 
Amen!' 


The Lord, in his infinite wisdom, replied:

'My son, I feel you have learned your lesson and I will be happy to change things back to the way they were. 
You'll just have to wait nine months, though. 
You got pregnant last night.' 





Link

Monday, July 16, 2012

It's my life, can I decide for myself, please?

Some of us have a fear of dying. Some would rather hope for a quick and easy death, without having to go through the anxiety and fear. Often, when we hear of people who died while playing golf, mahjong or in their sleep, we comment, 'What a nice way to go off!'

One of the reasons why people die suddenly is due to a sudden heart attack. According to a definition:

"Heart attacks, also known as acute myocardial infarction, are usually caused by a blockage in one or more of the coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle (myocardium). This interruption of blood supply starves the heart muscle of oxygen and causes muscle tissue to die (infarction). This is usually caused by an atherosclerotic plaque: a mass of cholesterol, other fatty substances and cellular matter that has built up on the wall of the coronary artery. These unstable atherosclerotic plaques can rupture or tear, causing a blood clot (thrombus) to form which can block the artery and cause a heart attack."

Some people actually said, 'Why worry about high cholesterol or high blood pressure when it helps us to die suddenly?' There are many who chose not to subject themselves to regular medical check-ups, partly because of their fear of knowing what could be wrong with them ('ignorance is bliss') and their inaction worries their family members who care. While they might wish for a quick or sudden death, there is also a possibility of ending up as invalids who need extra medical or other attention which can drain them financially as well as their close ones emotionally. Below is someone's story which helps to explain this common situation or dilemma:


"One of my friends father who is a retiree in his mid-60s, is perfectly healthy looking and behaving normal, plays his round of golf each Sunday, does a fair bit of gardening, keeps himself busy the rest of his time helping his son's (my friend's) little retail  business, and goes on tour/trips every now and then .....
 He was persuaded by his daughters and other well wishers to go for His medical checkup which he had last done before retirement some 10 years ago. He didn't see the need  to do it as he was feeling perfectly ok and healthy.
Of course he didn't want to spend the money. After persistent persuasion from his family he finally gave in (his daughters agreed to foot the bill).
 First, his blood test revealed a total cholesterol count well above the 5.2 threshold (in fact close to 6). The doctor advised that he went for his stressed ECG test.
 Again he had to be persistently persuaded to go thru that test, which he did. And it revealed some abnormality with his heart.
 Now the doctor advised that he went thru angiogram. He resisted again and again after much pestering he subscribed to that invasive test.....which revealed three (3) blockages in his heart. And the doctor advised he went thru angioplasty.
 This time he was adamant not to go any further. But it was like the end of the world for his family members who were all highly educated people with learned common sense. They went thru the highest mountains and deepest oceans to convince the old man to go thru angioplasty.
 The surgery was successful. And he was given a clean bill of health. His heart is revitalized and cleared of all blockages. After returning Home from the hospital, his family (especially his daughters) put him on a "healthy" diet. Strictly no meat...only vegetables and fruits, with perhaps an occasional dish of steamed fish... no oil.
 The result.... the poor old man became weaker, couldn't drive his golf ball the distance he used to, got tired easily when he did his gardening, lost a lot of weight (which everyone was happy because they see him getting healthier that way), went to bed unusually early ('cause he got tired sitting up late watching the sports channels).... in a nutshell he actually got weaker and probably suffering from mal-nutrition!
 Hardly 2 months after the angioplasty he passed away, supposedly from Heart complications. All of a sudden, a few family doctor friends were able to offer explanations. One of them had this to say...
 Heart blockages do not happen over-night. They are built up of time. And the body has somehow gotten used to the blockages. As long as the effects of the blockages are not life threatening, it may be best leaving them alone. Maybe it is better not to know about this. For most men at that advanced age already have blockages, some may be even worse. Not knowing it has one clear advantage. There won't be any STRESS imposed on the person.
 And STRESS is the killer.
 Some may not respond well with angioplasty. With the heart cleared of its blockages, the blood flow will be unrestricted. And sometimes the body (even the heart may not be used to this new revitalized condition) may not know how to cope with it quick enough. Coupled with a "healthy" diet of just fruits and vegetables which are not the usual and normal intake of this person, may and can do further damage.
 So it's a combination of all these that could have killed this poor old man who was, just 2 months ago, a healthy bubbly man living a perfectly normal STRESS FREE retired life.
 Today my friend and his siblings all regretted what they had done to their father.
 Moral of the story is not to be extreme and take everything in life in its stride and with moderation.
 One more thing.... my family doctor, age late 40s, hardly takes meat, a good sportsman,  has a total cholesterol count of 6.
 Some times it's in the genes. Like my 99 year-old mother-in-law who lives by herself, does her own marketing, cooks her own food, never eats any meat that is not fat all her life, hates lean meat, cholesterol so bloody high ......and she is still kicking and so mentally alert. One thing....she's got NO STRESS.
 She only gives STRESS to all others around her. That's probably why she's living alone by herself.
 So my friends... Don't get paranoid and stressed up for nothing!!! "

Link

Sunday, July 15, 2012

BN using water issue to attack Pakatan state government

New Sunday Times has its front page showing headline, 'Down to a trickle, Taps run dry: a million people in 209,678 households will be affected' and a picture of a Malay woman carrying two buckets of water, with her 3 children following her. Page 4 has headlines, 'Be pragmatic in solving water woes, Selangor told' 'Urgent need: Water shortage will also hit KL and  major industries, warns Muhyiddin' and 'Syabas proposes rationing'. Page 6 has 'Water cuts worry residents' 'Critical period: They hope authorities will come to a consensus' with a picture of Syabas CEO passing out bottles of drinking water to residents of Taman Sungai Besi Indah in Seri Kembangan, Selangor.

To me, it is so obvious that the headlines and pictures were meant to create an impression that the water situation is already in a critical stage. BN leaders want to portray that the water problem is a creation of Selangor Pakatan state government. But looking back, lop-sided contracts were signed by BN state leaders favouring mainly Umno leader Rozali Ismail's Syabas, and the problems were due to MB Khalid Ibrahim refusal to go along with their scheme of things. Federal Minister, Peter Chin had been pestering Selangor to carry out according to their original plans. To put it simply, BN is known for lop-sided contracts in favour of their cronies, at the expense of the public. Does it mean a new state government has to implement all such contracts regardless of how unfair they were planned and executed? Even now, they seem to have the upper hand in having Syabas to control water supply at will, like now when they are proposing water rationing and try and blame it on Selangor state government's refusal in carrying out the projects. Where it involves hardship to the people, Khalid is in an unenviable position to explain the real reason for any water shortages even if deliberately created by Syabas.

Meanwhile, Syabas won its case against Tony Pua, who has to pay up Rm200,000 in damages within days, despite his appeal to higher court. The fact that he could get people to contribute towards this sum easily shows he has their support in his fight against Syabas.

Update on July 16:  Water crisis not related to Langat 2
http://www.thesundaily.my/news/435292
Selangor govt to take over Syabas management
http://www.thesundaily.my/news/435713
July 17: Visit to Semenyih water dam shows it's full and overflowing
http://xavierjayakumar.blogspot.com/2012/07/visit-to-semenyih-water-damn-shows-its.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SuaraSriAndalas+%28Suara+Sri+Andalas%29
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A bit on Century Ride Malaysia 2012

My son's interest in cycling remains strong. He came back with a racing bike on top of his car last Friday night. The use of 4 suction cups to hold a bike on a long journey is remarkable, thanks to science, and a revelation of sorts to me. To secure or to release requires just a push of a control bar through the cup base! (Having seen it being used: when in place, by pressing the button repeatedly tightens the suction cup's grip on the car roof)

Last night, he was feeling feverish and his efforts in bringing back the bike would seem a waste. We joked that he had a choice of either joining them and quitting when reaching Batu Gajah, or joining them when they reach Batu Gajah!

Early this morning, he was all ready and eager to take part. I had to send him to Tower Regency Hotel where the event was supposed to start and end. I did not check at all, thinking he was educated in Ipoh and knows the place better than me. I have just checked Century Ride Malaysia website http://www.centuryridemalaysia.blogspot.com/ and found out that the starting point is actually Kinta Riverfront Hotel! It shouldn't be a problem since there are other cyclists staying at Tower Regency, but it is a case of mistake due to both of us making assumptions.


Apparently, the name Century refers to 100 miles or 160 kilometres. The route was designed to cover that distance. This year is going to be a record with around 1,600 participants, with Singaporeans numbering over 300. The Malaysian landscape is ideal as a comparison with that in Singapore.


Update: He managed to complete the course in just over 5 hours, and felt very pleased about it because of his lack of training and having had a cold the night before. Btw, the bicycle journey from Kinta Riverfront Hotel to Batu Gajah Perdana took only 45 minutes, compared with a normal car journey of 30 minutes. Of course, this special ride was with police control at every traffic junctions, a continuous smooth ride unlike a car journey. At this point, he was encouraged to continue and try to finish the journey, not only by his own wish to check his current fitness, but the thought of what his wife said earlier in encouragement: try and finish the course so that you can show your son the medal! This was his third experience in the Century Ride. He completed in the first year, gave up somewhere in Manong in the second year, and now finished the course and felt he had done it in better shape as compared with his first which seemed more like a struggle then.


Update on July 18: Some nice pictures of the event from Emily2u:
http://www.emily2u.com/century-ride-2012/

I searched but could not find any press coverage for the event!
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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chinese dogs?


Looks like one... but please don't feed me with bamboo shoots.

Confused canine with traditional feline enemy... no more hatred.

This 'Bison' can be 'bising' when it barks...

Joe Cool, the camel... cannot go long without water...

Hi Ho Silver! Retired Lone Ranger can reminisce with...
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Friday, July 13, 2012

If your husband is hyperactive, beware when he retires


The following scenario could happen...

After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Target.
 Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunate, my wife is like most women - she loves to browse.
 Yesterday, my dear wife received the following letter from the local Target:

Dear Mrs. Harris,

Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband, Mr. Harris, are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras:

 June 15: He took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people's carts when  they weren't looking.
 July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares  to go off at 5-minute intervals.
 July 7: He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women's restroom.
 August 15: Set up a tent in the camping  department and told the children shoppers they could come in if they would bring pillows and  blankets from the bedding department to which  twenty children obliged.
 September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked  his nose.
 October 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the 'Mission  Impossible' theme.
 October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his 'Madonna look' by using different sizes of funnels.
 October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled 'PICK ME! PICK ME!'
 Took a box of condoms to the checkout clerk and asked where is the fitting room?
 And last, but not least:
 October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the  door, waited awhile, and then yelled very loudly, 'Hey! There's no toilet paper in here!'


Link

Morbid thought: I will be worth Rm2,500 when I'm gone


Under the 'Mesra Usia Emas' programme:

"THE Selangor government will offer RM2,500 under a programme called “Mesra Usia Emas’’ to the senior citizen’s selected beneficiary upon death to help out with the funeral expenses or other expenses.

All senior citizens in Selangor aged 60 and above qualify for the programme. It is also for those born in Selangor or the Federal Territory before Feb 1, 1974 and those who have been residing in Selangor for at least 15 years..."

More:
Programme for senior citizens
http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2008/11/11/central/2478173&sec=central

Link

We seem to be in destructive mode

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Overkill due to lack of overall credibility problem?

I am referring to MB of Selangor, Khalid Ibrahim's intention to call in five audit firms to review Talam deal:
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/7/11/nation/20120711175627&sec=nation

I think there is a general lack of trust in public statements by politicians (especially BN's which included revised, reversal by same person, or even contradictory statements by ministerial colleagues), affidavits (one was reversed the day after), and deliberate lies hyped up by mainstream media in favour of BN and against the opposition.

Khalid Ibrahim must be feeling exasperated with the ongoing baseless relentless attacks by BN representatives, despite a well planned and executed restructuring exercise to save what had been a big mess in Talam created by Selangor's previous BN Menteri Besar(s).

It is ironic that the present Chairman of Trinity Corporation Bhd (formerly Talam) is Adrian Tsen, a former partner of international accounting firm, Arthur Andersen & Co., one of the Big Four in the world. As a result of relentless harassment by BN leaders, Khalid has decided to appoint not one, but five audit firms, to review the Talam deal. This is probably to ensure no future arguments on the result of the review (yet to be seen, where it involves politicians with a certain agenda). I am doubtful whether the loudest critics (except Tee Yong, who is a qualified accountant) are able to understand fully the restructuring scheme. Even Tee Yong chose to ignore explanations so that he could continue with the attack, with the help of the television channels showing the same footage again and again, and the newspapers showing only BN's views, and nothing on the explanations.

The incumbents have the advantage of control, of all the public institutions tasked with maintaining law and order, but blatantly biased when carrying out their enforcement. Bigger issues involving BN leaders are not followed up, while minor issues involving Pakatan leaders (like that Rm2,400 involved in Teoh Beng Hock's case) were acted upon with undue haste and actions.

Looking at the recent cases, foreigners would get the impression that our country is more concerned about the private lives of politicians (alleged sodomy cases I and II of Anwar and alleged affair of Lim Guan Eng) than deaths in the custody of the police and MACC. The increasing number of serious cases of snatch thefts (misnomer because they are actually robberies, usually armed) which ended in death of victims, kidnaps for ransom, and serious armed robberies at home and in public places. The Home Minister had the gall to downplay them, based on statistics. What is more important is public perception of the increasing dangers in public places and at home. Why would the people feel insecure? Simply because the cases highlighted involved some people they know: neighbours, friends or relatives. The Minister is so out of touch with reality, being well protected by bodyguards and outriders when on the go, and security personnel at home, that he just could not empathise with the public's concern.
Link

Emails: when in doubt, delete!

Once bitten twice shy comes to mind. Having my computer system attacked by viruses taught me to be extra cautious before opening emails.

After my Yahoo email account had been hacked, I am now uncertain whether I am using the genuine one! I used to have a security seal before I logged in, but now it is without. I had my password changed but would this affect it, as in omitting it altogether? If so, I had been using one (with the seal) which was already under someone's control long before! The reason for my doubts is because the security feature (similar to the seal or logo) with a bank remains regardless of my re-installed computer system. The only difference is the one from the bank is one of several which I selected from, while the one in Yahoo was one of my own creations.

Last night, I received an email from LinkedIn which require logging in to see who else I might know are with them. As I was about to key in my password (in fact I wasn't sure I could remember it because every time they sent me updates without it), I remember about the warnings on request for passwords.

I have been receiving regularly, an email supposedly from a friend, from Fanbox. Those are likely to be spams. If I were to add all those lottery winnings from all over the world, I think I could be richer than Warren Buffet! Out of the blue, widows of former generals or wealthy men in countries never visited by me or even unheard of, managed to find me to help them sort out their problems with their local banking rules which prevent them from receiving huge sums left in their late husbands' estates. Some lonely females too, managed to select me to be their escorts in case they visit Malaysia! How not to feel egoistic with all these fan mails?

Update on July 13:
http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/07/13/yahoo-confirms-400000-user-accounts-stolen-by-hackers/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+mycenews+%28MyCen+News%29
Link

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Guess who fit the description...

New meaning to being 'connected'...

"You only need to look at a smartphone to realize the usefulness of an Internet connection in acar. And the advent of smartphones is playing a big part in getting automakers to integrate connected features. People used to looking up an address on a smartphone can now do it right in their car's dashboard, and save that address to the navigation system. Other apps that can come in handy on the road, as deemed by these automakers, bring up Internet radio, social networking, and dinner reservations..."


More:
The five most connected cars
http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-57469902-48/the-five-most-connected-cars/
Link

Percussive guitarist Usman Riaz meets sifu Preston Reed

Petrol prices do not add up?


Seems like the sum of the parts equals more than the whole.
Link

Safety helmets which would attract police attention

Durian tutorial



To me, any of those three examples looks excellent to me. I can almost smell it. The comparison would have been more convincing if the one supposed to be less fleshy more visibly so, and the one which is overripe really soft and wet. I have seen examples of durians which are really hopeless in terms of smell and taste.
Link